Articles tagged with : customer-focused

How to bring a proposal team to a single POV? Ask the Proposal Doctor

Dear Proposal Doctor, As a newly-accredited APMP member (Foundation Level), I appreciate the importance of making everything customer-focused. That is a big part of the curriculum. I get that. Here is the problem: our RFP has been out for several weeks, and everyone on my team has a different idea of who the customer really is and what they really want. This divergence of opinion is making it very hard to come to closure on important parts of our solution that should have been decided a long time ago. Some people on the proposal team are senior, with a lot of expertise and many years of experience. Others are more junior, but in closer contact with people likely to be influential in the final decision. The discussions go in circles with no clear conclusion or resolution. At this rate, not only will we never get done, we will never get...

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7 steps from good to great proposals

A win doesn't always mean what you submitted was the best it could be

We all strive to write great proposals and often pat ourselves on the back when our proposals win. Each victory fills us with pride and reassures us that we’re writing great proposals, but that’s not always the case. Great proposals frequently lose on price, and poorly written proposals win when competition is limited or the bid price is low. Because of this, victory is not always a good indicator of proposal quality. All great proposals have seven essential attributes, and you can use these attributes to measure the quality of your proposal. Once you make it a practice to measure these attributes, you’ll be surprised at how quickly all of your proposals improve. To be a great proposal, a proposal must embody the following: 1. Compliant structure – First and foremost, the proposal must be structured to comply exactly with the request for proposals (RFP) instructions and attachments, thereby making...

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6 ways your proposal can fail – and how to avoid them

I received a call from a mid-sized large business that had submitted a proposal for IT services and had just learned their proposal did not make competitive range. They were irate and wanted to protest, alleging that the government had not fairly evaluated their proposal. They had hired a proposal consultant, spent lots of money developing their proposal, and were assured their proposal was professionally done. Before filing the protest, the company asked me to review their proposal. Here’s what I found when I did the review and what I told them. Professionally developed proposals always have the same characteristics — they are compliant, responsive, compelling, and customer focused. They present a solution that is easy to evaluate and score well — and they are aesthetically attractive. I used each of these criteria while reviewing this company's submission. Compliance The proposal’s structure is expected to follow the request for proposal’s (RFP)...

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